03 August, 2019

Matthew 12:41-42—“[men] shall rise up in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it”

The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here (Matt. 12:41-42).

“According to the Bible, the preaching of the gospel increases the responsibility of men. Surely our ‘responsibility’ keeps step with things that are blessings? If they weren’t blessings, then why would their responsibility be increased? It doesn’t make sense. How could the reprobate’s responsibility be increased if those things which descend upon them in this life were merely curses? The more we come into contact with the gospel, the greater is our knowledge of the way of salvation: greater, then, is what will be required of us. In this sense, the most significant word of the Savior in Luke 12:47 holds true: ‘And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.’ This statement applies especially to those, who labor in the vineyard of the Lord, yet the principle is of far broader extent. The men of Nineveh and the Queen of the South will stand up in the judgment against the generation of Jews of Jesus’ day, and condemn them (Matt. 12:41-42); for they, though less privileged, gave more honor to the word of the Lord. Tyre and Sidon will find it more tolerable in the day of judgment than the cities of Galilee, where Jesus had labored the most (Matt. 11:21); for they were deprived of the preaching of the gospel, which the Jews received in such rich measure. Is not this ‘greater responsibility’ to find its explanation in that the preaching of the gospel is, indeed, generally intended by God as a blessing: even for those, who refuse to give obedience to the word of the gospel?”


Prof. David J. Engelsma

Human responsibility does not imply divine mercy.  The gospel itself is good and presents to all to whom it comes the goodness of salvation, the way of salvation, and the calling of all who hear the gospel to repent and believe.  But this in no wise implies either the ability of all to believe or the gracious will of God for the salvation of all who hear the gospel.  Has the author of this argument never read Romans 8 and 9?  There the Holy Spirit treats of the very subject about which he inquires.  The gospel itself is good—the greatest good.  It is the means of salvation to some—all for whom God in His sovereign grace makes it a blessing.  But this good gospel, for the rejection of which the unbeliever is responsible, is purposed and actually made, by God, the means of hardening and damnation.  If God intends it to be a blessing to all alike, the implication is that those who are saved by it have themselves to thank for their salvation, since God on His part intends it to be salvation to all alike.  Thus, the gospel of grace is lost.  Universal grace or blessing necessarily means salvation by the will of man
The issue is predestination, which teaches that the gospel is grace (and a blessing) to some only, and which truth proclaims salvation by grace—particular grace.
I advise the one making this argument to study the Canons of Dordt.  The Reformed churches fought this battle and defended grace at Dordt. 
They must not suppose that their objections are new to the Reformed faith. (DJE, 03/08/2019)



More to come! (DV)

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